As a society, SPSP values diversity and inclusiveness of people and ideas.

The SPSP Equity and Anti-Racism (EAR) task force was convened in fall 2020 to address equity and justice issues in SPSP through systemic, progressive, and long-lasting change. The EAR comprised representatives of SPSP standing committees, staff, MAL’s, and general members. The mission of the task force was to provide recommendations and strategies for SPSP to accomplish the following:

  • Identify and address institutional and structural racism within SPSP;
  • Ensure SPSP provides equity across all facets of the organization;
  • Ensure SPSP leadership is as diverse as the membership of SPSP;
  • Advance the field of social and personality psychology by providing meaningful mechanisms to our members to eliminate institutional racism in society.

Throughout this effort, the EAR and our Society have based this work on the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of anti-racism: “the policy or practice of opposing racism and promoting racial tolerance.”

Society-wide Commitment

The breadth and depth of the changes required for the organization to become an anti-racist organization require the engagement of multiple stakeholders over multiple stages. This task force is explicit in its recommendation that the implementation of these recommendations not fall solely to the Diversity and Climate Committee, which would silo anti-racist work and be counter-productive to systemic change. In keeping with the society’s stated core value of diversity, the task force notes that anti-racism ought to be a goal of all arms of society leadership.

As the flagship organization for social and personality psychology, SPSP holds a special responsibility as a primary catalyst for social justice in the field. The Task Force recognizes the need for the organization to make fundamental changes to its priorities and activities in ways that address the goal of anti-racism and equity.


Changes within the organization are intended to radiate to the field over time, influencing all aspects of how our science is conceptualized, conducted, and disseminated. SPSP events bring together the social and personality psychology community and serve as a platform for signaling to both the overarching norms and values of SPSP regarding anti-racism and equity and the value of research examining these topics. Therefore, through SPSP events and research selection processes, SPSP should demonstrate its commitment to anti-racism.

Goal 1: Demonstrate that SPSP values diversity and inclusiveness of people and ideas

Goal 2: Facilitate the development of more anti-racist scholarship in our field (e.g. reduce racist method practices, place equal value on the research of minoritized, non-US, or non-WEIRD participants)

Goal 3: Increase representation of individuals from diverse and underrepresented groups within our presenters and research teams

Annual Convention

The SPSP Equity and Anti-Racism (EAR) Taskforce suggested last year that we ask people to indicate how their presentation advances the Equity and Anti-racism goals of SPSP. The SPSP board agreed that we should do so. 

As a pilot program last year (for 2022 Convention Submissions), we asked people to write these statements during the submission process, but did not give them to reviewers (we required only the symposia, single presenter, and PD submissions to fill this out, posters and Undergraduate posters were exempt from this). We requested the submitters to please explain whether and how this submission advances the equity, inclusion, and anti-racism goals of SPSP. This may include, but is not limited to: The research participants in the sample; the methods used in the research; the members of the research team(s) involved in the work (e.g., background, diversity, career stage, affiliation type); the content of the presentation (e.g., critical theories, prejudice, equity, cross-cultural research).

Both the Convention committee and the Professional Development committee agreed that these statements were helpful in making final decisions. 

We are now rolling the DEI statements out as part of the full review process this year.  We will have the regular review process rubric set up using the major review criteria with a holistic rating (alongside strength/rigor, contribution, and interest value), but we will have the reviewers rate the DEI separately. Instructions for the reviewers will be altered so as to give them feedback on how to use this information in doing their reviews (see below):

Please read and evaluate each abstract with an eye toward the strength and rigor, contribution, interest-value of the submission in light of the general SPSP audience. Separately, please evaluate the extent to which the submission advances SPSP's goal of promoting diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism. You can find a statement on those goals here:

  • Equity & Anti-racism:
    Evaluate the extent to which the submission advances SPSP's goal of promoting equity, inclusion and anti-racism. To do so, please consider the equity statement as well as the submission as a whole. Submissions advancing equity, inclusion, and anti-racist goals may include (but are not limited to): 
    • Diverse research participants (e.g., understudied or underserved populations) 
    • Diverse research methods (e.g., methodology that promotes equity or engages underserved communities or scholars).  
    • Diverse members of the research team (e.g., those from underrepresented sociodemographic backgrounds, from an array of career stages, from outside the United States, or with professional affiliations that are not typical at SPSP such as predominately undergraduate serving institutions, minority-serving institutions, or outside academia)
    • Presentation content (e.g., prejudice and discrimination, critical theories, cross-cultural research). 
  • Rating Scale:
    • The system allows you to make ratings on a 3-point rating scale for each dimension:
    • 3: Exceptional- The submission clearly and strongly advances SPSP's goal of promoting equity, inclusion and anti-racism
    • 2: Satisfactory- The submission slightly to moderately advances SPSP's goal of promoting equity, inclusion, and anti-racism. We expect that this rating will be the most commonly applied rating. 
    • 1: Not Applicable- The submission does not advance SPSP's goal of promoting equity, inclusion, and anti-racism